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Valérian Mazataud July 23, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/355164/pas-de-vacances-pour-les-carres-rouges
Thousands of demonstrators marched in opposition to neo-liberalism
PHOTO CAPTION: Participants were out in great numbers yesterday in Montreal on the occasion of the 160th day of social action and the fifth national demonstration on the 22nd of the month.
“Less strong, but broader.” In bringing together thousands of people into the centre of Montreal in the midst of the summer construction workers’ holiday, the Broader Coalition of the Association for Student Union Solidarity (CLASSE) is hoping to plant the seed of durable dissent on (what is likely) the eve of the provincial elections.
For the 160th day of social protest, the marchers returned again yesterday in the early afternoon at Place Emilie –Gamelin. Though at the overnight protest of the previous evening there were barely more than 30 people, this fifth national demonstration on the 22nd of the month brought from 15,000 (according to AFP) to 80,000 (according to CLASSE) to the streets of Montreal. The student coalition had invited the participants to come out via a Facebook page with the stated aim of ousting the neo-liberals.
July 22 2012
Original French Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9IsVemVIDs
Host: My friends, this song is appropriate because today once again, we were 80 000 to have disobeyed the infamous Loi 78. Thanks for having come out again in such great numbers. I think we can be proud. And we can even tell Jean Charest himself. We are at his office. Do you have something to tell Mr Charest right now? [Crowd boos]. Mr Charest thought that we were going to run out of breath. But in three weeks, Mr Charest thinks that we will be going door to door for the Parti Québécois. But we have a surprise for him. In three weeks, Mr Charest, Quebec’s students will be back in the picket lines, they’ll be back on strike. And to speak to us about that, let’s welcome Gabriel Nadeau Dubois from CLASSE.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois: Hello everyone!! Thank you, thank you infinitely for having come out in such great numbers today. We were 80 000. We showed all those who were talking about [us] running out of breath that they were wrong. You have shown them that they were wrong! For a few weeks now, our movement has been attacked more than ever. The Right has doubled their strength to chase us from campuses, to chase us from festivals, to chase us from certain towns in Quebec. We are now witnessing a witch hunt that is putting Quebec society to shame.
Geneviève Tremblay July 16, 2012
The day after its congress, which took place on Saturday at Université Laval, the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité étudiante (CLASSE, the Broad coalition of the Association for student solidarity) yesterday reaffirmed its determination to oppose “neoliberal policies” and to rally Quebeckers to its “social strike” through dialog, whether or not elections take place.
This strategy, elaborated last week along with the publication of its manifesto entitled “Share Our Future” and refined this weekend in Quebec City, will remain independent from any political party and will escalate its efforts in the event of an election call, underlined co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois yesterday, who was reached by Le Devoir after a day of talks in Montérégie.
“What the congress decided upon was to conduct a campaign focused on the students’ ideas and values. To operate in parallel to the election campaign, to not follow any particular party, to go speak with people about our societal vision without sending out a briefing or instructions on what is to be done on voting day”, he said, adding that the Coalition is “clear-minded”.
Serge Petitclerc, spokesperson for the Collective for a Poverty-Free Quebec
July 10, 2012
What began as a student strike has become in the space of several weeks a powerful social protest movement. How did this happen? The imposition of a special law restricting Quebeckers’ freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly certainly had something to do with it. But Bill 78, abusive as it might be, isn’t the only explanation. The indignation of a large part of the population was lurking just beneath the surface.
Over the past 30 years, in particular since the mid 1990s, Quebec’s public institutions have undergone a major transformation. Their contribution to the common good has been increasingly diverted to serve the private accumulation of wealth. In the name of “zero deficit,” the “re-engineering of the state,” or the “cultural revolution,” we’ve seen the imposition of policies leading to increased poverty (such as the health tax) and cuts to public services. It seems nothing is safe anymore from the neoliberal “logic,” its state of permanent crisis and its user-payer model.
Stéphane Baillargeon June 2, 2012
What was once a student conflict is now a social crisis. Who exactly is this group, taking to the streets more than any other in Quebec’s history? And why are they doing it?
It’s the elected leader, or the street. The elected leader of elected leaders Jean Charest renewed his call for calm Thursday, and we’ll find out today whether he was heard by the mobilized masses, in the streets once again for a protest organized by students, who have been on strike for more than 100 days and a few dozen nights.
Commenting on the failure of negotiations, the premier once again told the public that elections would be held in eighteen months time and that “that will be the moment for people to express their disagreement democratically”. He added that, by threatening to disrupt the F1 Grand Prix set to take place in Montreal next weekend, the more radical amongst the young negotiators had gone too far.
Éric Desrosiers May 26, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/350992/ras-le-bol-des-idees-neoliberales
“To sum up this conflict as a generational clash would be a convenient way of shrugging off its ideological aspect”
PHOTO CAPTION: For several week now, a panda mascot has been at the protests’ front line. The anachronistic two-coloured teddy bear has elicited an unlikely wave of sympathy.
The Charest government will never get anywhere useful in the student conflict as long as it fails to understand with whom and with what they’re dealing, that is a generation unlike the others, one whose interests go beyond the education issues and one that’s not done with hitting the streets to be heard.
“It seems obvious that the Charest government fails to understand students today, observes Jacques Hamel, a sociology professor at Université de Montréal and a youth specialist. When ministers speak of the youth, it’s obvious that they’re speaking of what they were at that age, whereas that’s missing the point.